ICCE 2022

How to Cite

COASTAL WAVE OVERTOPPING: NEW NOWCAST AND MONITORING TECHNOLOGIES. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, papers.1.


It is projected that global mean sea level could rise up to 1 m this century with a strong regional pattern. It is estimated that 20percent of England’s coastal defenses could fail under just half this rise. Ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation plans may protect 400,000 – 500,000 people, but flood and coastal erosion risks cannot be fully eliminated. Building coastal climate resilience requires accurate wave overtopping prediction tools and nowcast information to prepare for and respond to coastal hazards. In Dawlish, SW England, a new monitoring system to measure concurrent beach level and wave overtopping conditions over a 1-year period was installed. The system obtains in-situ measurements of the inland wave overtopping distribution across a public walkway and railway line, and issues near real-time overtopping data to the British Oceanographic Data Centre, making it accessible online within 15 minutes of detection. This public web service also ingests near-real time wave and water level data from existing national coastal monitoring networks, providing a full dataset to validate and calibrate an operational wave, water-level and overtopping forecast system. Using these data, the numerical forecasts have been refined by incorporating recent beach levels to reduce the uncertainty in the wave overtopping predictions due to seasonal variability in the beach level at the toe of the sea wall.


Brown, J., Yelland, M., Pascal, R., Pullen, T., Cardwell, C., Jones, D., Pinnell, R., Silva, E., Balfour, C., Hargreaves, G., Martin, B., Bell, P., Prime, T., Burgess, J., Eastwood, L., Martin, A., Gold, I., Bird, C., Thompson, C., and B. Farrington. 2020. WireWall – a new approach to measuring coastal wave hazard, National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 66, 115pp,

Brown, J.M., Yelland, M.J., Pullen, T., Silva, E., Martin, A., Gold, I., Whittle, L., and P. Wisse. 2021. Novel use of social media to assess and improve coastal flood forecasts and hazard alerts, Scientific Reports, 11, 13727.

Dawson, D.A., Hunt, A., Shaw, J., and W.R. Gehrels. 2018. The economic value of climate information in adaptation decisions: learning in the sea-level rise and coastal infrastructure context, Ecological Economics, 150, 1-10.

De Chowdhury, S., Zhou, J.G., Qian, L., Causon, D., Mingham, C., Pullen, T., Hu, K., Russell, M., Manson, S., Stewart, D., Wood, M., Winter, H., and A. Joly. 2020. Wind effects on overtopping discharge at coastal defences. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 36v, papers.40. 7pp.

Dhoop, T., and C. Thompson. 2018. Extreme Value Analysis for CCO Coastal Wave Data, Channel Coastal Observatory Technical Note TN 03, 11pp,

Dhoop, T., and C. Thompson. 2021. Swell wave progression in the English Channel: implications for coastal monitoring, Anthropocene Coasts, 4(1), 281-305.

Scott, T., Masselink, G., Martin, A.J., and P. Russell. 2014. Controls on macrotidal rip current circulation and hazard, Geomorphology, 214, 198-215.

Stokes, K., Poate, T., Masselink, G., King, E., Saulter, A., and N. Ely. 2021. Forecasting coastal overtopping at engineered and naturally defended coastlines, Coastal Engineering, 164, 103827.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Jennifer Brown, Margaret Yelland, Gerd Masselink, Tim Poate, Kit Stokes, Robin Pascal, David Jones, Christopher Cardwell, John Walk, Barry Martin, Peter Ganderton, Louise Darroch, Tom Gardner